This month the Angling Gazette commercial success series has taken me to Airfield lakes in Norfolk, owned and managed by all-star angler Rich Wilby.
The venue is situated just outside Diss in Norfolk and boasts two lakes. Mustang Lake which is the venues day ticket lake containing 30lb carp, plenty of 20lb carp and good doubles. Enough to keep any carp angler- serious or novice at bay. Secondly they have Spitfire Lake which is open ten weeks of the year and is available to book for week long sessions. This lake contains the infamous “Wood” a 50lb+ carp.
There is an onsite toilet (so no need to use the bushes) and Rich is around most days and will walk around the lakes chatting to anglers and giving them very helpful hints and tips which will hopefully put a carp in the landing net. Landing nets, weigh slings and carp cradles are supplied as a fishery rule is not to bring yours.
I arrived on mustang lake mid-morning and already the weather was extremely warm. I had a walk around the lake but saw no signs of carp. After a quick chat with some anglers who had fished the previous night, I was soon set up in peg 14. According to the advice I was given, this side of the lake was producing the fish. So confident that the fish were in the upper layers of the water I went straight on the zigs.
At the time the lake water was extremely coloured so I opted to spod a sloppy mix over the top which consisted of ccmoore’s sweet nut cloud instant spod mix, ccmoore’s live system boilies crumbed up, ccmoore hnv betaine ultra mix pellet and ccmoore’s intense hempseed. This created one stunning cloud in the water and if I was a carp I would be all over it. Having larger particles in your sloppy spod mix will begin to bait up the bottom so if you opt to fish bottom baits at night, half your work will already be done/
Sadly this method didn’t produce and by early evening, I was preparing some bottom bait rigs and solid bags ready for the night ahead. Again my choice of boilie was ccmoore live system and in my solid bags I used ccmoore’s hnv betaine ultra mix, on recommendation from Rich that the carp love a bit of pellet.
All evening I watched the water for signs of fish but only saw silver fish top, with my night ending in a blank. However, with the views you get at Airfield lake, I couldn’t be unhappy?
Now normally I would I have put the blank down to the lake fishing really well the previous week and the time being so close to spawning. That was my track of thought until I had a chat with Rich the following morning and he made me realise something. Maybe the crafty carp had gotten away with my bait and I’d been done or failed to hook them. Upon checking my rigs, it turns our that they might not have been as effective as I’d first thought. So I came away from airfield learning a valuable lesson.
Not all commercial fisheries are easy and Airfield lakes is one that certainly takes a little time and thought to conquer. Which means that this chapter of commercial success won’t be closed until I catch a carp from airfield.
Airfields lakes get the thumbs up for commercial success from me, with a fantastic complex and a lovely owner Rich Wilby on hand to help with advice, you can’t go wrong . At £15 a day for three rods at a lake with fishing of this quality, I think it’s priced well too,
Even though I drew a blank, I enjoyed my time and I will be definitely be going back to settle the score with some of those Airfield carp.
I can’t catch every time, but to me the challenge is what makes fishing fun.
Until my next instalment tight lines.